Matina Jewell

Life-changing Perspective
from the Front-line

Matina Jewell

Life-changing perspective from the front line

Major Matina Jewell (Retired) CSP is an inspirational trailblazer, helping leaders build resilient teams to thrive through change.

Recognised in the ‘AFR 100 Women of Influence 2018’ Awards, Matina is also a Telstra Business Awards Finalist, and named by CPA Australia as a ‘Top-10 smart thinker’.

Among many honorary roles, Matina is a founding Ambassador for Project Thankful, a movement partnered with the United Nations to help empower women and children globally.

Matina’s incredible life story has been optioned for a global feature film.

'In-Their-Words" contribution for Australian War Memorial by Matina Jewell

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A Military Trailblazer

Major Matina Jewell (Retired) CSP grew up in the hinterland of Byron Bay and joined the Army at age 17.  During her 15 year military career, Matina:

  • Served on five missions and earned eight war medals
  • Is the only Australian to receive two Republic of Lebanon war medals for bravery on the battlefield and wounded in combat
  • At 23yo, was appointed Officer in Command of the Army Department and Diving Officer for HMAS Kanimbla, then Australia’s largest Navy ship
  • Was the first woman in the Australian Army to complete the physically demanding ‘Navy Diver’ course
  • Worked with the elite SAS and American Navy Seals
  • Tracked-down militia leaders in the Solomon Islands
  • Fast-roped from helicopters
  • Boarded smuggler ships in the Arabian Gulf
  • Trained in three languages (Bahasa Indonesian, Arabic and English)
  • Gained her Masters in Project Management
  • Was selected as a Peacekeeper with the United Nations in Syria and Lebanon


A Change Champion

Since being medically retired, Matina has continued to champion change for veterans and others in honorary and advisory roles, including:

  • Prime Ministerial Advisory Council
  • National Mental Health Forum
  • ANZAC Centenary Commission, alongside former Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and the late Malcolm Fraser
  • National Suicide Prevention Commission Advisor
  • Australian Peacekeeping Memorial Project – Ambassador

Other proud achievements include:

  • 2018 – AFR 100 Women of Influence Awards Finalist
  • 2017 – Certified Speaking Professional (International designation)
  • 2016 – Telstra Business Awards Finalist
  • 2015 – CPA Australia ‘Top-10 smart thinker’
  • ABC’s ‘Australian Story’ and ‘I Survived…’ documentaries
  • Best-selling author of Caught in the Crossfire
  • Proud mum to two busy young girls
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ABC Australian Story Documentary – The Blue Beret (Parts I & II)

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Foxtel ‘I Survived’ Documentary


AFR 100 Women of Influence Awards
Finalist 2018

AFR 100 Women of Influence Awards Finalist 2018

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) 100 Women of Influence Awards identifies Australian women championing change in business and society, and those who have dedicated their time and energy to help and encourage other women fighting for change every day.

Professional Speakers Australia
Certified Speaking Professional 2017

Professional Speakers Australia Certified Speaking Professional 2017

Matina was awarded Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) accreditation by the Professional Speakers Association Australia in 2017, being recognised internationally as a professional speaker of the highest standard.

Telstra Business Women’s Awards
Finalist 2016

Telstra Business Women’s Awards Finalist 2016

The Telstra Business Women’s Awards recognises outstanding women and celebrates those doing business differently, redefining the conversation on female leadership at all levels of business.

Honorary Roles

Project Thankful

Project Thankful Founding Ambassador

Matina is a founding ambassador for Project Thankful, a movement to encourage all of us to reflect on how the everyday can be extraordinary. Thankful® is partnered with the United Nations for the empowerment and cessation of violence against women and children, globally.

Australian Peacekeeping Memorial Project

Australian Peacekeeping Memorial Project Ambassador

The Australian Peacekeeping Memorial Project was established to raise funds to construct the memorial honouring the service, courage and sacrifice of Australian peacekeepers in the service of international peace and security. The memorial opened in Canberra on 14th September 2017, the 70th anniversary of Australia’s involvement in UN Peacekeeping Missions.

ANZAC Centenary

ANZAC Spirit - ANZAC Centenary Commissioner

Matina provided advice to the Prime Minister and Government as one of the six-member ANZAC Centenary Commission, which included former Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and the late Malcolm Fraser, on how to best commemorate arguably one of the most important milestones in our young Nation's history - The ANZAC Centenary from 2014 to 2018.

Recent Activity

Today I was asked to share my thoughts about courage in leadership with the fantastic team @sanofipasteur When we are called upon to step up & lead particularly when it’s not our job it takes extraordinary courage to do this So how can you show up with more courage this week?

#OnThisDay in 1964 the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne collided at night with the destroyer HMAS Voyager off the coast of Jervis Bay.

Of the crew of 314 aboard HMAS Voyager, 82 died.

To read more:

#OnThisDay in 1916 soldiers of the AIF marched along a crowded George Street in Sydney on #AustraliaDay

Thrilled to be the opening keynote speaker @RiskSummit in London 1st March where I’ll be joined by incredible line up of talented speakers sharing their unique experiences of managing risk Get in quick to register for this exciting event at #RiskSummit2019

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